The other day, I was talking with a friend about what she needs to do with her website to start getting people to sign up for her emails. I started by asking her if she had a sign-up form and a landing page.
She stopped, tilted her head a bit to her left, looked at me sheepishly and said, “Well, I’m not sure.” When I didn’t say anything, she started listing the web pages that she had published on her website, and finally, she bit her lower lip and asked, “What exactly is a landing page?”
If you have the same question, you came to the right place. And you’re not alone. While the term “landing page” gets thrown around a lot in online marketing, not that many people really know what it means — much less how it differs from a website or homepage, or even why landing pages are necessary.
With Constant Contact, landing pages are built-in to your email and social campaigns as part of our full online marketing platform. But it’s still helpful to know what they are, how they work, and how you should use them. So…
What are landing pages for and why do I need them?
A landing page is a single webpage created for one specific purpose as part of an online marketing campaign. It’s where users “land” after they click on an ad, an email button, or a link in a social post.
I think of it like this: If you’re jumping down a step, you jump off the step you’re on, and land on the next step down, right? So, a link is where your reader jumps off of where they are online (i.e. a Facebook page or ad, an email link, etc.) and they “land” on your landing page.
Landing pages tend to be very simple and focused on a single call to action (CTA), such as signing up for an email newsletter or donating to a nonprofit campaign.
Is a landing page the same thing as a homepage or another page I have on my website?
Every web page has a specific purpose.
A homepage is where you let your visitors know exactly what your business is and what it does.
An About page is where you give more details about your company, how you got started, and why your company/nonprofit is the best fit for them.
A Contact page is just that. It lets your visitor know where you are, what your hours are and how they can contact you.
All of these pages are part of your overall website. And there are multiple ways a visitor can get to these pages; e.g. via a web search, following a link from another web page, or through a direct link. So, yes, a visitor to a site can “land” on any of those pages — which is why a homepage is often used as a landing page.
However, a landing page is only accessed through a direct link, is often temporary, and can be changed or updated frequently. Most importantly, a landing page has only one goal: to convert. (And I don’t mean in a religious way.)
In the online marketing world, a conversion is a sign-up, a purchase, a registration, a donation, etc. It’s when someone completes whatever action you are hoping they’ll take as part of your campaign.
I think you get the idea, and now have an idea of how important landing pages are. They are essential to getting people to take desired actions in your marketing campaign.
How do I create a landing page?
The easiest way to create a landing page is with a landing page builder.
If you’re a Constant Contact customer, you’re probably already familiar with our landing page builder and may have already built a landing page for capturing new sign-ups for your contact list.
Landing page builders have a basic template, so all you have to do is fill in the blanks, choose images and colors, decide on the information you want to collect and decide where you want the information to go.
If you aren’t using a built-in landing page builder, you’ll need to either manually code it into the infrastructure of your website or hire someone to create a landing page for you.
I recommend using the landing page builder feature inside Constant Contact. It makes life easier and will save you a tremendous amount of time, money, and frustration. (I nearly broke out in hives just thinking about all the code I’d have to learn to create my own from scratch.)
What are landing pages for?
Besides capturing new sign-ups for your newsletter, landing pages are great for a lot of things.
My favorite is for events.
But there are a lot of other great reasons to create landing pages:
- Showcase a product or service
- One-time-only offers (think of those buy-one-get-one ads on Facebook)
- For a special sale (think holidays or clearance)
- Downloadable materials
- Sharing videos or infographics
- Saying thank you and/or supplying a coupon or coupon code
And these are just a few.
Constant Contact now has even more ways you can use landing pages to boost your sales, including shoppable landing pages where your customers can swiftly make a purchase.
What landing pages should I create?
Your first landing page should always be the one you use to capture new sign-ups.
Once you’ve created your sign-up page, use your social media outlets to point people to it. And start growing your contact list.
After that, sit down with a pen and paper (if you’re old fashioned — your digital notebook of choice if you’re not), and brainstorm about what other landing pages you might want to create. Incorporate these into your marketing calendar when you’re planning your next campaign!